Muslim Persecution of Christians: June 2012

Raymond Ibrahim is a Shillman Fellow at the David Horowitz Freedom Center, a Judith Friedman Rosen Writing Fellow at the Middle East Forum and a CBN News contributor. He is the author of Crucified Again: Exposing Islam’s New War on Christians (2013) and The Al Qaeda Reader (2007). 


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Originally published by the Gatestone Institute.

U.S.-backed rebels are committing Christian genocide in Syria, where they are sacking churches and issuing threats that all Christians will be cleansed from rebel-held territory.  A mass exodus of thousands of Christians is taking place, even as mainstream Western reporters like Robert Fisk demonize those same Christians for being supportive of the secular regime.

The bloody jihad waged against Nigeria’s Christians, which has seen hundreds killed this year alone, now includes plans to kill Christians with poisoned food, as part of the Islamic organization Boko Haram’s stated goal of purging Nigeria of all Christian presence.

During Egypt’s presidential elections, Al Ahram reported that “the Muslim Brotherhood blockaded entire streets, prevented Copts from voting at gunpoint, and threatened Christian families not to let their children go out and vote” for the secular candidate.

Meanwhile, under President Obama, the U.S. State Department, in an unprecedented move, purged the sections dealing with religious persecution from its recently released Country Reports on Human Rights.  Likewise, the Obama administration insists that the Nigerian crisis has nothing to do with religion, even as Obama offered his hearty blessings to Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood president, in the midst of allegations of electoral fraud.

Categorized by theme, June’s assemblage of Muslim persecution of Christians around the world includes (but is not limited to) the following accounts, listed in alphabetical order by country, not severity.

Church Attacks

Egypt:  Because many visitors were in attendance, Muslims surrounded a Coptic church during Divine Liturgy “demanding that the visiting Copts leave the church before the completion of prayers, and threatening to burn down the church if their demand was not met.” The priest contacted police asking for aid only to be told to comply with their demands, “and do not let buses with visitors to come to the church anymore.” Christian worshippers exited halfway through liturgy to jeers outside. As they drove away, Muslims hurled stones at their buses.  Also, repairs to a Coptic church that was torched and gutted a year ago by rioting Muslims were woefully inadequate, leaving the congregation with a staggering debt from further necessary repairs.

Indonesia: A Muslim mob of 300 wrecked a store that was being used for a Sunday church service on the pretext that it had not obtained “permission to hold Mass.”  The mob wrecked the first floor of the store, breaking windows and damaging furniture.  Police stopped them before reaching the third floor, where some 60 Christians had congregated.   None of the Muslims were arrested, although 12 Christians were taken into custody for questioning. Separately, in compliance to calls by Islamic clerics, authoritiesordered 20 churches to be torn down, following the closure of 16 smaller Christian places of worship in the same district last month.  The congregations continue to hold services inside their sealed-off buildings as other members stand guard outside.

Iran: Authorities ordered the closure of yet another church in the capital, Tehran, “amid a government campaign to crack down on the few recognized churches offering Farsi-speaking services,” according to a human rights group. The church originally served Assyrian background Christian members; however, “due to an increasing number of Farsi-speaking believers—mostly MBBs [Muslim Background Believers]—it [the church] has become a cause of concern for the authorities and they now ordered it to shut down.”

Kashmir: A 119-year-old church was torched by Muslims.  The local bishop “said that the Muslim fundamentalists want Christians to leave the state… He said that the church had filed a case with the police but had been advised not to ‘play up’ such incidents.”  Christian minorities “are coming under growing threat from Kashmir’s Muslim majority. A Christian human rights group in India said that over 400 Christians have been displaced as a result.”

Kazakhstan: Land use regulations are being exploited “as a means to prevent religious communities and their members exercising freedom of religion or belief.” Most recently, authorities “forced a Methodist church to ‘voluntarily’ close and fined the wife of the Church’s Pastor, who further paid for an announcement in newspapers saying the church was ‘liquidating itself,’” simply because “We do not want more punishment from the authorities.”

Nigeria:  Islamic militants attacked several churches during every Sunday of the month with bombs and guns killing dozens of Christian worshippers, and critically wounding hundreds, including many children.  Growing numbers of Christians “dare not” attend church services anymore, even as reports suggest that some police are intentionally abandoning their watch prior to such attacks.

Sudan:  Authorities bulldozed two church buildings to the ground and confiscated three Catholic schools, as a response to the secession of South Sudan in July 2011, saying that such buildings are associated with now unwelcome, largely Christian South Sudanese in the Islamic-ruled country.  Another church building belonging to the Full Gospel Church was destroyed in the same area two months ago, also on the claim that it belonged to South Sudanese.

Turkmenistan:  An Evangelical church in the Muslim-majority nation was raided by authorities: “All adult believers at the meeting were questioned about their faith and all of their Christian literature was confiscated.”  Their literature was returned two weeks later.

Apostasy, Blasphemy, Proselytism

Egypt: A Christian student handing out Christian literature in Assuit University “raised the ire of Muslim students,” resulting in clashes on campus, “amid shouts of sectarian chants,” leading to many injuries.  Likewise, a Salafi leader declared on Egyptian TV that Muslims have no right “to convert to Christianity.”

Iran:  Five months after five Christian converts were arrested, their condition and fate remain unknown. They are accused of “attending house church services, promoting Christianity, propagating against the regime and disturbing national security.” Being imprisoned for 130 days without word “is an obvious example of physical and mental abuse of the detainees….  one of the prison guards openly told one of these Christian detainees that all these pressures and uncertainties are intended to make them flee the country after they are released.” Also, a young Iranian woman, who recently converted to Christianity and was an outspoken activist against the Islamic regime, was found dead, slumped over her car’s steering wheel, with a single gunshot wound to her head.

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  • Abba

    Boko Haram Is not as black and white as foreigners or some Nigerian christians want to paint it. Go and take a look at the facts and figures. While churches have been attacked, Violence in the city of Jos has been going on before the inception of boko haram, the president himself admitted that that old conflict is being mixed up with the boko haram issue. Nearly all the fighting by boko haram has been taken place in the north which is predominantly Muslim. And more Muslims have been killed so far than christians.
    . Ramadhan Kareem

  • Jeff Jones

    Don't forget Kosovo and Bosnia. The Bosnian Muslims in Bosnia and Albanian Muslims in Kosovo continue to attack and purge Christians from those areas.

  • http://twitter.com/frank95054 @frank95054

    Genocide in our time, and Obama supports the criminals who carry out the murder of Christians. What does that say about his belief in the one true God, the Lord Jesus Christ. We have allowed evil into the White House. I pray that November comes soon and that we throw the murderer out of office. Ironically, Obama receives the Nobel Peace Prize shortly after winning the Presidency only to reside over the mass Genocide of Christians by his Muslim Brotherhood supporters.

    • http://www.facebook.com/BreNelEntGroup Nelson Hernandez

      One True God?? That line alone sounds just like your muslim counterparts. Of course they don't like you when you spit that in their faces when they believe thier god to be the true god. But it's all their fault right? lmao

  • ze-ev ben jehudah

    Logical; it's not for nothing his name is Barack Hussein Obama.

  • southwood

    Thanks for your good work Mr.Ibrahim. Quite shocking what Christians under Islam are going through. Why won't the Western media and politicians take not of their plight ?

  • g_jochnowitz

    Among the victims of Muslim fanaticism are other Muslims. A couple was recently stoned in Mali. http://www.nytimes.com/2012/07/31/world/africa/co
    Fanatics who persecute outsiders also persecute their own people for not being equally fanatic.

  • Eamonn Gavin

    Excellent article, thank you! The bottom line is this – the only way in which Western civilization can even begin to think about stopping the onward march of Islamism is to get rid of the bogeyman – Obama – in November. God Bless America – Protector of Western Civilization. THANK YOU, AMERICA, MOST SINCERELY. Éamonn, Dublin, Ireland.

    • http://www.facebook.com/BreNelEntGroup Nelson Hernandez

      God protector of Western Civilization? LMMFAO. Thanks for the smile.

      • Eamonn Gavin

        Hi Nelson! Really, you should READ my comment PROPERLY before you presume to make sarcastic comments about it!! I CLEARLY stated "God Bless America – Protector of Western Civilization". Now, perhaps I should go easy on you, because possibly English is not your first language? What my sentence means, to anybody who knows the language, and reads my sentence PROPERLY, is that AMERICA is the Protector of Western Civilization. I am asking God to bless America – the protector of Western civilization. Got it now? Maybe an apology? LMBAORTDDSAGOGGBHO!!! Éamonn, Dublin, Ireland.

  • Munther

    stop attacking Islam . what is happening in Egypt is pure politics

    • EamonnDublin

      I expect people will stop attacking Islam when Islam stops threatening to take over the world. Who in their right mind wants Shari'a Law? (No – I said who in their RIGHT mind)

  • EamonnDublin

    I expect people will stop attacking Islam when Islam stops threatening to take over the world. Who in their right mind wants Shari'a Law? (No – I said who in their RIGHT mind)